Explain the basic properties of electrical charge?

2 Answers
Dec 31, 2016

Electrical charge is a physical property found within matter. It causes it to experience a force when in the presence of other matter with a charge. Basically, a charge can be positive #(+)# or negative #(-)#.

  • Opposite charges attract and same charges repel. For instance, electrons repel each other, but protons are attracted to electrons.
  • Charges interact more when closer and less when farther.
  • Charges are additive. If one #+1# charge comes near a #-1# charge, the net charge is #0#. For example, a neutral compound must have all of its charges add up to #0#, so since #"Na"_2"O"# would contain two #"Na"^(+)#, it necessarily would contain only one #"O"^(2-)#.
  • Higher charge magnitudes interact more strongly, and vice versa. For instance, that's why #stackrel(1+)"Na"stackrel(1-)"Cl"# has a smaller lattice energy than #stackrel(2+)"Ca"stackrel(2-)"O"#.
Dec 31, 2016

The basic properties of charge is the number of electrons that an atom or ion gains or loses to become stable.


If an atom or polyatomic ion loses electrons ( is oxidized ) it acquires a positive charge.
If an atom or polyatomic ion gains electrons ( is reduced ) it aquires a negative charge.

Oxygen with a high electronegativity tends to gain electrons oxidizing other atoms and ions and becoming negative in nature. (Oxygen is reduced)

An example would be water # H_2O# The density of electrons is greater around the Oxygen than the Hydrogen, resulting in the Oxygen acquiring a =2 charge while the two Hydrogen each have a +1 charge.

In the polyatomic ion sulfate #SO_4^-2# the 4 Oxygen atoms each need two more electrons to become stable. This results in a charge of =8 for the 4 Oxygen atoms. The Sulfur with a lower electronegativity than Oxygen will "lose" all six of its valance electrons ( The electrons density will be less on the sulfur). This leaves sulfur with the stable electron structure of Neon.